Bhakti Yoga Meditation

Shikchastak
of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu

jagannath ji

Below is a selection of Sanskrit quotes by Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu on the stages of devotional development from sadhana bhakti (preliminary devotion) to bhava bhakti (natural devotion) to siddha bhakti (the realized state of divine love). "Shikcha" means teaching and "ashtak" means eight. This very brief teaching is the essence of the deepest devotional philosophy.

Verse 1
shikchastak verse 1
"Oh supreme God, Who is the creator and protector of this world, I desire You! I do not desire luxuries or wealth. I do not desire children, students or disciples. I do not desire prestige or adulation. I don't want recognition as an artist, poet or great writer. I only desire to remain in the consciousness of Your selfless love in every lifetime."

Verse 2
shikchastak verse 2
"Oh Krishna! I have become a slave to my own ambitions and desires. I have fallen in the worldly mire of sensual gratification. Oh my Lord, I cannot reach your, but You can reach me. I am helpless and You are all powerful. So, remembering me as a speck of dust which has fallen beneath Your lotus feet, please pick me up and grace me with Your love."

Verse 3
shikchastak verse 3
"My beloved Krishna! You have imbued Your personal powers in Your name, and have made no physical rules for its remembrance. Your Grace is great and my ill-luck is also of the extreme limit -- that is why my heart finds no pleasure in remembering Your name."

Verse 4
shikchastak verse 4
A bhakta (devotee) should not seek praise or compliments, but rather have respect for others. He must be humble as a blade of grass and as forgiving as a tree. Living like this, a devotee should always chant Krishna name with feelings of love, while also remembering His leelas, grace and kindness.

Verse 5
shikchastak verse 5
"Oh Krishna! I am longing for that day when tears of love will flow from my eyes while I remember Your name. In Your remembrance my body will feel a divine thrill and while singing Your name, my voice will choke with emotional feelings of love. When will that time come that while remembering Your name divine expressions of love will appear in my heart and body?"

Verse 6
shikchastak verse 6
"My dearest beloved, Krishna! I am Yours forever and I know You are mine. I love You just to please You. I desire You to express my love and I desire You to know what wish of Yours I could fufill. You know that I cannot cease loving You even if You turn Your face against me. You may hug me with all Your love. You may be cruel to me and crush my feelings by all possible means, behaving adversely. You may reject me, telling me that You will not show Your face to me for my whole life. Even then, You will remain my only Beloved. Whatever You wish to do with me, do it. You know there is no one who could come into my life except You."

Verse 7
shikchastak verse 7
"Oh, my beloved Krishna, You are the Master of my soul and the desire of my heart. How can I forget You? Now I experience that my soul is not only related to You, but You are the Life of my soul. Material relations may end because they are inconstant, but Your relationship is a reality. It will remain forever. They why haven't You come to me? You know that I cannot live without You."

Verse 8shikchastak verse 8
"The chanting of Krishna name purifies the mirror of the heart, subsides the agonizing fire of the material mind, develops the cool effulgence of divine love, brings forth Divine knowledge, and sprouts the bliss of Krishna's divine love that brings complete divine contentment at every step of life. Such an experience of Krishna's love exceeds all the blissful experiences of all the other divine abodes."
(Return to Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu)